A surprise assignment from the Centre divides Philip and Elizabeth, forcing them into a moment of profound crisis. Stan gives Henry a tour of the FBI, but will he see too much?
|At home, Philip tells Henry he can attend St. Edward’s if he gets accepted. (♫ The Jetzons - Hard Times ♫) Posing as "Brad," he then goes to visit Tuan, sitting on the couch watching TV, but thinking about playing a childhood game with his father. (♫ Mark Bernes - Zhuravli ♫) The Jennings meet with Claudia, telling her Paige would like The Center to find a job for Pastor Tim. Claudia asks them to gather information on a woman named Natalie Granholm living in Newton, Massachusetts, who's a suspected wartime Nazi collaborator who was named Anna Prokopchuk. She gives them an old photo of Anna. Claudia also confirms the Soviets weaponized the Lassa virus sample they obtained from the dead body of William and used it against the mujahideen in Afghanistan.
|At the OBKhSS, Oleg and Ruslan listen to Nikita sigh that he'll have to send someone who spoke out against the USSR to a mental ward. While in disguise surveilling Natalie and her husband, John, Philip and Elizabeth discuss Henry going to St. Edward's. Stan brings Henry to the FBI, so he can write about it for his school newspaper. He meets Agent Aderholt, learns about the vault and admires the Mail Robot. Elizabeth passes Natalie on the street and photographs her with a camera hidden in her purse. Oleg and Ruslan tail Lydia Formina and find that she bought modest food, despite being suspected of being rich from receiving bribes from various baza managers including Dmitri Sharanov.
|Henry arrives home and excitedly tells his parents about his visit to the FBI. In the laundry room, Philip and Elizabeth transform it into a darkroom and develop the pictures of Natalie but can't tell if she is Anna. Asserting they don't want Henry to work for the FBI, they wonder if Paige meant for them to see the pictures of Pastor Tim's diary. Oleg and Ruslan examine Formina's office after hours and find her ledger, containing details and names of people she's accepted bribes from, kept in an unlocked drawer. Philip and Elizabeth give Claudia photos and details on Natalie and learn she's suspected of being Anna on very circumstantial information. Claudia says she'll get the photos and their findings to the Center.
|At Stan's, Henry reads his report on the FBI to Stan. Effusing how great it is there, Stan tempers Henry's enthusiasm by relating how everything he does there has to remain a secret and that he can't trust anyone. Oleg and Ruslan interrogate Formina who isn't fazed when they show her the ledger or threaten her with 15 years of prison time. Demanding that she provide details of how her bosses use bribery to enrich themselves on the USSR's food supply, she replies that the system has been in place a long time. Relating that it's how people get fed and that it isn't going to change, she sneers at them for thinking the KGB can change something that involves ten of thousands of people who oversee food distribution.
|At home in the laundry room, Elizabeth decodes a message from the Center ordering them to kill Natalie. Elizabeth agrees that they'll make sure that Natalie is Anna before killing her. Stan and Aderholt meet with Sofia about activities at TASS. She says her relationship with Gennadi is getting more serious but Stan warns her to keep her activities with them secret. In disguise, the Jennings break into Natalie's home as she's setting the table for dinner. Pointing guns at her, she ardently denies being Anna or being from Dyatkovo. Elizabeth slaps her and accuses her of killing hundreds of Russian prisoners. As Natalie starts crying, Philip isn't sure if she's being truthful. In private, he suggests to Elizabeth that even if Natalie is Anna, they shouldn't kill her.
|Elizabeth tells Natalie they're going to wait until her husband John comes home. Saying he's a good man, Natalie then confesses to being Anna but doesn't provide convincing details. She tells them to shoot her and leave John alone. Hearing John's car arrive, she begs them not to hurt him, that he knows nothing of what's she's done and he thinks she's wonderful. As John enters, Philip grabs him and seats him at the table across from Natalie. Thinking they are robbers, Natalie says "they're here because of the war." She then tells a horrific tale of being 16 years old when the Nazis captured Dyatkovo. Most of the men and boys were shot, including her father. Clinging to her mother, she was shot too. She was forced to dig a hole and bury her family.
|She was then coerced into shooting those in her town or face execution herself. Natalie says that the first time she was made to do this, the Germans gave her so much to drink beforehand that she could hardly stand. John is shocked by these revelations but tells her that her past is irrelevant, he knows the real her, and she is good. Natalie apologizes and John begs for their lives, saying Natalie was forced to do the unspeakable. Philip is moved by Anna's story and hesitates to shoot her. Seeing this, Elizabeth quickly shoots John and then Natalie. Driving home, Elizabeth says they should go back to Russia.
- Zhuravli (Russian: Журавли́, English: Cranes), first performed in 1969, is one of the most famous Russian songs about World War II. Because of the song, cranes became a symbol of the war's fallen Russian soldiers. A range of World War II memorials in the Soviet Union feature the image of flying cranes and, in several instances, verses of the song. In 1995, fifty years after the defeat of the Nazis, Russia released a stamp in memory of the fallen soldiers from World War II. The stamp depicts flying cranes against the background of the Kremlin's War Memorial to the Unknown Soldier. The song plays while Philip and his father pretend to be birds.
- The Mail Robot makes another appearance. Writing an article for his school's paper, Henry is given a tour of FBI HQ by Stan. Seeing the robot, Henry thinks it's so cool but Stan says it's more trouble than it's worth.
- Paige does not appear in this episode.
- "Previously on The Americans" voice: Stan.
|Hard Times||The Jetzons|